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RLiebowitz, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 50
Experience:  work with couples and families in private practice
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I have another question regarding your opinion which Ive already

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I have another question regarding your opinion which I've already touched on. Last night I text Sherry goodnight and said "Going to bed baby, will talk to you tomorrow. I love you with all my heart Sherry" She replied "Ok, sleep well" I know it was probably sarcastic, and I pretty much meant it that way...I replied "I love you too". She then said "So much for allowing me to say it when I feel it huh? Fine if it is robotics you want here...Love You" I replied and said You don't have to say it every single time, but when we are going to bed I just feel it is appropriate. I would hate for this to be the last opportunity to tell you what you mean to me and fail to do so. She replied with "If it is robotics I want, that is what I will get Love You" I'm sorry, but if I person says I love you, though you don't always have to say I love you too, but if you pretty much never say it...that is a problem in my eyes. If your response is "K" or anything other than I love you too..that is a problem in my eyes. What is your opinion.
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Hello! Clearly there was a previous conversation between the two of you where she told you that she doesn't want to be "forced" into saying "I Love You." I do understand your desire to say "I love you" before going to bed, but I think what's going on here, and we've discussed this before, is a power struggle. Sherry is trying very hard to establish herself and not be controlled in this relationship. Maybe it's just her character - maybe it's damage from a pervious relationship. Either way, and we've discussed this before too, I think your communication is muddled enough where there's absolutely NO room for sarcasm. If you want to do something for her or say something to her, you do it bc you want to, not bc you expect something back. My hunch is that if you take the element of expectations out of the equation, she will eventually reciprocate naturally.


Does that answer your question? :-)


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It answers my question to some degree. Ok, moving on to a couple of other elements. She is in a controlling environment with her mother which I have touched on. We are both in our 40's yet we have to sneak around like little school children to date. I am growing very weary of that. (1). I buy to some degree what you are saying about the "I Love You". And hear me out, I'm not stereotyping or being sarcastic towards you. However, people from NJ are stereotyped as not being as friendly as people from the South. If you and I met on a street corner somewhere and I said "Good Morning" to you, and you said ANYTHING other than Good Morning as a reply, ie, Ok, K, Kiss My Ass, well then it is you with the problem not me...that is just the way I see it. (2) Sherry was going to join me when her son graduated school. He graduated on 5/17/2013. She hasn't made that move, because our relationship needs repairing. She doesn't make a lot of money ($20,000.00 per year as a teacher at a private school). But I don't understand why she wouldn't get out of her mother's house and her mother's control go get an apartment so that she is out from under her control and that allows the two of us more freedom if she isn't ready to move in with me yet? Financially she probably thinks she can't afford it. But I see other's making minimum wage who somehow or another are able to afford a roof over their head, lights on, food in the belly, gas in their car. How do they do it? Once you answer this I have one more thing to ask your opinion on.

I can understand where you're coming from regarding demographic; however, I don't think matters of affection have anything to do with that. You both are clearly having a power struggle - it has nothing to do with culture. Even in this question, you state: "But I don't understand why she wouldn't get out of her mother's house and her mother's control go get an apartment so that she is out from under her control and that allows the two of us more freedom if she isn't ready to move in with me yet?" Even in this question you are looking for ways to change WHO she is and HOW she lives her life. A reoccurring theme with you in these conversations is that you continue to list things with the relationship that you are "growing weary of" and how you don't under I think you need to make a decision for yourself if you want to continue participating in this relationship under the current circumstances. I cannot tell you how to get her to live her life the way you want her to - I can only tell you that this is the way she lives her life and it's up to you if you want to remain in it the way it is, but the only thing you can expect is that if you continue to try to change how she lives her life or tell her how she's living her life is not "right," you both will continue to argue.

She clearly has a very close and enmeshed relationship with her mother - it's not about finances, it's about personal decisions. I'll tell you what I tell all my clients - you can't get mad at a cat for not barking and loving bones. This is who you are involved with. You have to either learn to love a cat or go out and buy a dog.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok first of all I was using the "Good Morning" on a street corner as an example to "I Love You". The same thing applies, at least to me. If you tell me "Good Morning" and I say Go F yourself, then it is clearly me who has the problem. Same thing, if you tell me "I Love You" and I say yeah, so...then I am the one with the least to me. So...from your perspective here is what I am planning. Give me your opinion, and though I may not always agree totally with you, I do agree with you in a lot of areas and value your opinion. First of all I am done telling her "I Love You" She won't hear it or read it from me ever again, or at least for a damn long time. I wouldn't want her to feel pressured to say it back (even though that is the normal appropriate response) if she doesn't want to. Number 2. She is on a time line, she just doesn't know it. I will not continue to date her the way we have been dating, sneaking around like school kids. I also will not date her another 20 years. I need more than what she is giving right now. I feel I have broken far more in this relationship that she has, so.....for the next year I am going to try my best to fix me and the things I have broken in this relationship. If in one year I can honestly look at myself in the mirror and know I have done the best I humanly can...then a decision will have to be made. If she can't make it I will make it for her and say good-bye! I do love her, I don't want it to come to this, but I cant keep going like we are going either. So June of 2014 she either will be making plans of moving to the coast, or she can stay right where she is the rest of her life.

Here are my recommended revisions for your "plan" :-)
(1) Continue saying "I love you," and be prepared not to hear it back just yet. This is a woman who, for whatever reason, needs to feel in control of her own life. She will eventually start to say it back. Try not to go with punishing techniques (i.e. if she doesn't say I love you - *I* won't say I love you!). It just encourages the power struggle.

(2) She's on a timeline and DOES know it. Have a conversation with her. "Sherry - I LOVE YOU - but this is how I feel in the relationship the way it currently is....I know I have things I need to change, too....Let's work on this together...Please understand that this is not a threat, but I'm a grown man and want to live the best life I can with you, and if certain things don't change, I can't see our relationship being the best it can be and things will have to come to an end."

If you aren't willing to make yourself vulnerable and make changes in the way that you handle her on a daily basis, then setting the goal of "june 2014" makes no sense - you might as well jump ship right now bc I'm telling you (as I have been telling you) - NOTHING will change.
RLiebowitz, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 50
Experience: work with couples and families in private practice
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